Bexhill General Store owners George Singh will be saying goodbye to the store this Saturday. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Bexhill General Store owners George Singh will be saying goodbye to the store this Saturday. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Indian delights are still on the menu at Bexhill store

UPDATE 1.20pm: IF YOU are worried about no longer being able to buy George and Anne Singh's Indian food when they leave, have no fear. 

Mr Singh has confirmed that the new owners will be selling Anne's famous curries, samosas and pakoras when they take over.

"Anne is teaching them her recipes," he said.

"They are the same recipes she has been using since we have been here."

Mr Singh said the most popular curries over the years have been the lamb and chicken.

"Anne makes her own garam masala, grinding the coriander, cumin and cinnamon, with other ingredients herself," he said.

"I will miss our customers, talking to them and meeting new people."

Garam Masala

In Hindi it means 'hot spices'  and is a blend of ground spices common in North and South India and Pakistan.

Common ingredients include cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, clovs and nutmeg.

The ingredients that make up Garam Masala
The ingredients that make up Garam Masala Contributed


WEDNESDAY 8.15am: SINCE the news broke that Bexhill General Store owners George and Anne Singh will move on to a new chapter this weekend, the Northern Rivers community has been in mourning.

The Northern Star posted this article on our Facebook page at 8pm last night, and since then, 118 comments have been posted as locals share their sorrow over the news, and express their thanks for all the hard work Mr and Mrs Singh have put in to the community over the last 24 years.

Some of the comments were:

Jude Isaac: "I loved this shop and stopped most Friday's on my way home from work in Lismore to Mullum to buy the best Samosa's ever. I wish George and Anne the best possible next chapter."

Danielle Aafjes: "George and Anne's family have been a huge part of my life for my whole life, literally. I have so many wonderful memories of them and their family. My heart broke when mum told me George and Anne were leaving. My first job ever was working at the markets with Anne and Jacob and I'll never forget what they have done for me and my family. I truly love these people. May their retirement serve them with same happiness I am greeted with every time I enter that wonderful place. Much love."

Rebecca Lee: "In my family, it is known as 'George's shop'. I think we will always call it 'Georges's shop' Your memory will remain long after you have gone. Thank you for all of the years."

Kimberley Davenport: "Oh such an icon of wonderful service, delicious food and cheapest mushrooms in town. Oh feeling sad. Thank you George and Anne so much for your wonderful business and hard work."

Amanda McHugh: "So sad! The most polite, kind people and wonderful products and food and the best prices! Will be so missed big shoes to fill but so happy for them!! It will be a nice life change for such hard working dedicated people. Love these guys, reminiscent of a bygone era. Priceless."

Pauline Kinsella: "They have been fantastic pillars of the community. They will be much missed. I wish them every happiness in their future life. And may the universe grant them a holiday. They deserve it."

Maureen Keane: "To my beautiful friends George & Anne you will both be sadly missed at Bexhill an I for one know of your love and dedication that you have both given through out the years even in the floods when you've slept there for days so we had supplies through difficult times. I send you now lots of love George and Anne growing lots n lots of Blueberries with both your hearts full of "Kyle". See you both on my next visit north as always your friend my friends! Bexhill won't be the same but change is good! Scott an his family hopefully agree to some degree as I miss seeing them to. Love to all."

Jodie Foster: "Thanks for giving me the opportunity to work for you guys years ago I always talk about how great it was to work for you guy's all the best for the future."

Darlene Cook: "Bought so many samosa and pies and vegies there over the years. Your retirement is well earned George and Annie - but we will miss you."

Linda Mills: "Oh nooo. Love the bexhill shop - where will we get our pakoras and samosas from!"

Michelle Kingma: "Will be sadly missed. The only place you can buy a curry and a pair of Blundstone's under the same roof!"


TUESDAY 5.45pm: THE Bexhill and surrounding community will lose two treasures this Saturday as the Bexhill General Store changes ownership after 24 years.

It will be a massive change for couple George and Anne Singh, who worked 364 days a year, seven days a week for 13 hours a day and served about 500 customers a day.

They are moving on to help run their late son's blueberry farm.

The Bexhill store is well known for its Indian cuisine and sold up to 500 samosas and 200kg of curry a week.

The Alstonville family who have bought the store are learning to cook the wellknown meals to supply community demand.

Bexhill General Store owners George and Anne Singh will be saying goodbye to their store this Saturday.
Bexhill General Store owners George and Anne Singh will be saying goodbye to their store this Saturday. Marc Stapelberg

Mr Singh said the customers had been very upset and emotional when they heard he was selling the business.

"There have been tears in their eyes and the little five-year-olds say 'It's not fair'," he said.

The co-owners have seen babies grow into adults in their time at the store, and know the names of 90% of the people who walk in the door.

Mr and Mrs Singh have had their fair share of interesting moments in their 24 years at the store, including five break-ins in 10 months in 2004, three topless Swedish girls who walked into the shop after a swim at the nearby quarry, and a hold-up with a "cheap Chinese hammer".

They've also helped many a passing driver change a flat tyre plus assisted tourists by the bucketload.

The have also noticed some interesting trends like the fact that during a federal election campaign business drops by 30%, the worst day of trade is the day before the Federal Budget is announced, and the fact that locals trust them more during a flood than the authorities - they get up to 500 calls a day from people looking to find out which roads are open.

It has been an enormous journey for the Singhs who moved from farming fruit and vegetables into retail so their daughter would have a job.

They have only taken one holiday in 24 years, in 1994.

They have also made it into the store every flood except one.

For Mr Singh his time at the store has increased his faith in humanity and he believes 99% of people to be good human beings.

"One very hot day a person was walking between Lismore and Byron Bay," he said. "He said that he had no money but he would leave me his watch. I gave him the food and water and told him to never mind the watch.

"Two months later he came back and even though it only cost $10 he paid me $20."

The store at Bexhill acts as a central hub from which 370 people in the surrounding community collect their mail, water and firewood. The store also serves as a post office and a bottle store.

Renovations in early 2000 saw the tiny shop and three bedroom home converted into the now coolroom, hot food and bottle shop.

Holly Butlin has been a customer for 23 years and said the Singhs didn't understand the enormous impact they had on the local community. "They are so loving and caring, unique and hard working," she said.

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